In Pakistan, people belong to Shedi tribe are populated in different areas of Sindh and Baluchistan. They are also known as Shedi Baloch or Makrani. Still they have a prominent identity like Africans. The Shedi tribes consider Baba Manghu Peer as their spiritual guider. Women of this tribe do not keep interest in education but Miss Iqra Qambarani is lucky because she is studying at university level in Sindh as well as she is a social worker. She is specially toiling for the welfare and education of her community. She is trying to aware about the importance of education among her tribe. Due to this quality, I hope you will notice this interview a unique one. In this interview you will read the culture of her tribe and her positive criticism. I am very thankful to her that she has given me this interview.
Q: From where did you get your education? In which field are you studying now days?
Ans: I attended madarsa till 2nd grade because there was not any private school in our town “Tandu Bagu”. When I reached to the age of 3rd grade then 2 new schools opened. Then I took admission in Orient Public school Tandu Bagu from 3rd to 5th grade. My father desired that I should study there till inter but it was co-education so I was shifted to Government Girls high school Tandu Bagu from class 6, I passed metric from this school. I completed my further studies in Badin; we had to travel by bus for 40 minutes to reach Badin. I studied 1st year from an Army college Badin and did 2nd year from Raheem College Badin. Afterwards I completed B.Com from Islamia College Badin and now doing BS in Computer Science from University of Sindh Laar Campus Badin.
Q: What did you desire to become? Did your family argue on higher education?
Ans: I desired to become a doctor but I came towards engineering, afterwards now I am in 2nd year of computer sciences. After Metric as I took admission in Army Public College Badin for 1st year. So, I was the first and only the girl who took admission out of town in co-education. People discussed it for few days but my family had never argued. Alhamdulilah! Now many girls from our town and community are studying in college. They have to travel daily to Badin.
Q: How and when did you start delivering speeches? What are your messages in your speeches?
Ans: I started delivering speeches from school life. Now I usually get chance to deliver speeches in my college campus and my programs. I have to speech on multiple topics in my college but in community programs I prefer to speech on the importance of education. So, they could not face problems in the society.
Q: Beside education what are your hobbies? Which field will you join in future?
Ans: I am interested in poetry and reading books. You can read my poetry on my blog. I am a social worker and want to be a writer in future.
Q: Tell me something about Shedi community, your forefathers and culture of your community?
Ans: It is difficult for me to explain you about my forefathers. Some people say that we belong to Africa, other says we had arrived from some where else. What ever our back ground is; now we are just Pakistani. I will only say that we are not Shedi we are Syedi. Our ancestors met to Hazarat Bilal R.A, as Hazarat Muhammad PBUH called Hazarat Bilal ‘Syedi’. That is why our community is Syedi but some jealous people did not admit it that black people have got the name ‘Syedi’ so they replaced it with ‘Shedi’. Our sir name Qambarani is due to Hazarat Qambar R.A, he was the servant of Hazarat Bilal R.A. our forefathers belong to Hazarat Qambar R.A and Hazarat Fizza R.A. Shedi tribe has multiple cultures and religious believes. If ever you will get a chance to participate in the annual fair in Manghu peer then you will easily get a chance to know about our tribe. People of our community are extremely devoted to Manghu Peer court. Hazarat Manghu Peer court is situated near Gaddap Town North West from Karachi and Keer Thar range. It is 700 years old court on Manghu Peer plain hill. Under the court crocodiles have been settled in the pond for thousands of years. Believers say that these crocodiles are the lies of Khawaja Fared Uddin Massod Shaker Ganj which have been gifted to Baba Manghu Peer. By the time due to spiritual power those lies converted into crocodiles. Every year we organize a fair on his court. This fair runs for a week, people arrive in this fair from far and wide. This fair starts by putting sandoor on the forehead of the head crocodile named Moor Swab also by feeding him with sweet (halva) and head of slaughtered goat. Shedi tribe believes that if Moor Swab does not eat the head of goat then their upcoming year will not pass happily, so they do not celebrate fair that year. If crocodile eats the head then they start their fair by beating drum near by pond. This drum is known as ‘Magrmayan’ or ‘Magar Maan’. It is not only the beat to dance on but Shedi take it as a spiritual beats. People offer such practices which refer them to African culture. Shedi tribe believes that by attendance awards they can fulfill their needs. Another tradition is that by taking bath from boiling water spring at Manghu Peer they may get rid of all diseases. People came from far and wide to take bath in this spring. People put flowers on saints whom did dhamal over court. They believe that saints have magical powers or Jin and spirits have entered in their bodies. They asked them about their future and other problems, also take thread or Taveez as a blessing. Parts from this belivers every year with great respect and celebrate the anniversary Muhammad Siddiq Musafir, Hosh Muhammad Shedi’s court. I do not attend these occasions regularly but only once I have attended Muhammad Siddiq Musafir’s death anniversary. You would be shocked to know that I have not gone to Manghu Peer yet. Here I want to clear one point that most of the Shedi believes that dancing and singing is our culture. I do not believe on this and I do not agree with it.
Q: What are the reasons of backwardness of Shedi tribe? What changes do you want to see in your tribe?
Ans: I think the main reason of backwardness is less awareness. If any person gets awareness then he can solve their problems. Another reason is that they are very poor that is why they are backward. Some facilities are available in our area. But we do not have community hall where we may arrange our programs. I wish that girls can have the chance to get higher education. They must have permission to do compact jobs. But in our community it is difficult for girls to get permission for doing job.
Q: Kindly introduce University of Sindh Laar Campus Badin. What rules of your university students do not like the most? Which specialty you like the most about your university?
Ans: Laar Campus Badin is the branch of University of Sindh. It started in 2007. The most cherish point is there is all peace. Other good thing is this that like other universities, there is no conflicts and hate among Shia, Sunni, Mahajir or Sindhi. From teachers to peon all is co operative. The negative point of Laar is that people are talkative and we have fewer facilities. For this we have to protest by the time.
Q: In interior Sindh, do girls whom complete their higher education get the permission for doing jobs?
Ans: Yes! Many changes have occurred now. Some time back they even do not have permission for higher studies. But now they get permission for doing jobs, still they have limited freedom.
Q: What is your message for Pakistani resident women?
Ans: Raise your voice for your rights, show people that you exist. Be confident and do not get scare by baseless threats.